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Although no studies have been done to see if Decadron (dexamethasone) passes through breast milk, it is thought that only a small amount would reach the bloodstream when this drug is used as eye or ear drops. However, some experts recommend that women use a different steroid medication while nursing, as the potential risks of using Decadron while breastfeeding are still unknown.

Is Decadron Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Decadron® (dexamethasone) is a prescription medication that contains dexamethasone, a corticosteroid (or "steroid" for short). It is approved to treat a variety of medical conditions.
Decadron is thought to pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider about using Decadron.

More Information on Breastfeeding and Decadron

No research has been done to see if Decadron passes through breast milk. However, other steroids are known to pass through breast milk. Based on this information and the properties of the medication, Decadron is expected to pass through breast milk as well.
Because of the lack of information available about Decadron and breastfeeding, some experts recommend that an alternate steroid be used, especially while nursing a newborn or premature infant.
It is important to note that only a small amount of Decadron is expected to be absorbed into the bloodstream when this medicine is used topically, as would be the case with the ophthalmic (eye) and otic (ear) medications. Therefore, it is unlikely that a significant amount of the drug would reach the breast milk after using the eye or ear drops. However, because the drug has not been studied in breastfeeding women, all potential problems cannot yet be ruled out.
If your healthcare provider recommends Decadron while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any side effects in your child. Also, to help reduce the amount of the medicine absorbed into the bloodstream from the eye drops, apply gentle pressure to the tear duct with your finger for at least one minute after using Decadron. Then gently wipe away any remaining medication with a tissue.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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